תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

seems

up no

WILD-BEAST OF Chap. XIII. WILD-BEAST OF CHAP. XVII.

of worship: for the har- : lot, who is idolatrous,

to set

other. 11 Blasphemously opposes 1 The kings, who are up

God and his pure wor- on the beast, give ship, and persecutes their power to him, and

the saints 42 months. war with the Lamb. 12 The Lamb shall destroy 12 The Lamb shall overhim. Ch. xix. 21.

come the kings, who

rise out of this beast. 13 Has a false prophet, 13 Has a woman, a har

who exerciseth bis do- lot, who rides upon minion, and making a him, i. e. directs the living image of him, reins of his power: and compels the world to the woman is idola

trous, and bloody. 14 Is cast into the lake of 14 Goes into perdition.

fire. Ch. xix. 21.

worship it.

It will easily be perceived that the two beasts bear strong resemblance to each other; there are indeed no parts of them which will appear to want this likeness, excepting Nos. 5, 6, 7. The beast of the seventeenth chapter, has no marks of the leopard, the bear, and the lion, which belong solely to the beast of the thirteenth. And what are these? They are the marks of the Assyrian, Medo-Persian, and Grecian monarchies; all which were parts component of the beast of the thirteenth chapter, yet whose more particular resemblance was to the fourth beast, or Roman monarchy of Daniel. Hence it seems to be insinuated, that

the

the dominion of the beast of the thirteenth chapter, was to be extended over all the nations which had been subject to any of these four monarchies; over the eastern, as well as the western world. But this extent of dominicn is not assigned to the beast who bears the harlot. His rule seems to be confined to the fourth monarchy; to the Roman empire, and to those ten kings or kingdoms into which that empire has been divided; those ten toes, with which the kingdom, described by Daniel, ended; and upon which it is to receive the blow of the stone. These are the western and European kingdoms; even to the exclusion of ancient Greece, modern Turkey, of that part of the Macedonjan monarchy which was seated in Europe * So, after the destruction of the fourth beast of Daniel, it is said, that the dominion of the three first is removed or chan

* “ As the four kingdoms of Daniel, considered in succession to “ each other, form a prophetic chronology; (Mede, p. 712.) so in an“other view they form a prophetic geography, being considered in the

eye of prophecy as co-eristent, as still alive and subsisting together, " when the dominion of all but the last was taken away. In con

sequence of this idea, which Daniel gives us of his four kingdoms, " so much only is to be reckoned into the description of each king“ dom, as is peculiar to each ; the remainder being part of some “other kingdom, still supposed to be in being, to which it properly

belongs. Thus the second, or Persian, kingdom does not take in “the nations of Chaldæa and Assyria, which made the body of the “: first kingdom; nor the third, or Græcian kingdom, the countries of " Media and Persia, being the body of the second. In like manner, “ the fourth, or Roman, kingdom does not, in the contemplation of " the Prophet, comprehend those provinces, which made the body of " the third or Grecian kingdom, but such only as constitute its own " body, that is, the provinces on this side of Grecce.” Bp. Hurd's Sermons on Prophecy, p. 348. See also Sir Isaac Newton on Daniel, ch. iv. p. 31, 32.

ged, ged, but that length of life is permitted to them for a season". Upon this change, the empire devolved to the fourth, or Roman, monarchy; which, in process of time, with its triumphant harlot and ten kings, is to give place to the reign of Christ. But the three other monarchies remain for a time. Though they lose their power, they remain, as we see them at this day, beastly, marked with ignorance, superstition, tyranny, cruelty, and injustice, until the stroke of the stone having first broken the legs of Daniel's image, of the Roman or fourth beast, the other parts of the image will also fall; and the stone, or fifth kingdom, the kingdom of the Messiah, shall fill the whole earth.

The beast, therefore, carrying the harlot, seems in most points like the former beast of the xiiith chapter, but not in the extent of his dominion. That of the former beast comprehended the eastern, and now Mahometan, provinces, of the four great monarchies; while the latter is confined to the western kingdoms only. He is indeed the same beast ;-—but when carrying the harlot, he is exhibited only in reference to one of the horns of Antichrist, that horn which the harlot will be found to represent.

The eastern or Mahometan horn, and consequently the eastern or Mahometan world, does not enter into this description.

There is another peculiarity in the beast carrying the harlot, which was not seen in the beast of the thirteenth chapter ;-he is of a scarlet colour. He seems to have obtained this tinge, by his connection with his scarlet mistress. This was not noted before, and there are some other minute marks of description, attributed only to the beast of the xviith chapter, which belong to him peculiarly when he carries the harlot, as a branch and horn of Antichrist; and which could not so justly be ascribed to him in the xiiith chapter, where the representation would be such as to agree with the extension of the four monarchies; the eastern as well as the western horn. These shall be considered in their place: but, first in order, let us attend to that ænigmatical description of the beast, by which it is said that, "he was, and

• Dan. vii. 12.

ter,

(yet is present *. " is not,

The form of speech is although he is. bighly ænigmatical. He hath existed; doth not exist;

[ocr errors]

:}

There are, I believe, but two passages in the text of the Apocalypse, in which I have not submitted to the authority of Griesbach, and adopted his readings. I do not possess the Biblical knowledge and means of consulting authorities which may give me a right to contend such points. But in the passage now before us, I have been inclined to preserve the commonly received text, xxITTEE 85*, as appear. ing to contain an appropriate meaning, which I in vain look for in

και παρες» the reading preferred by Griesbach. The three readings 3 xainle ES*

και σαρεσαι, as written in ancient MSS., would have a near resemblance to each other: but if any change has been made by transcribers, it is more likely that the difficul and ænigmatical expression has been rejected by them for the more easy and plain one, than that the easy and plain expression should be changed for the difficult and ænigmatical. But whatever might be the practice of transcribers, we must in such difficulties pursue a canon of criticism, laid down by the best critics; and especially in respect to the readings of the Apocalypse. It is among the rules adopted by Griesbach himself; “Preferatur lectio “ brevior, obscurior, durior, sensum paradoxum, ant apparenter fal

sum fundens," &c. (Pref. ad Nov. Test.) Irenæus, who informs us that he possessed, in his times (so near to the publication of the Apocalypse) the σπιδαια και αρχαια αντιγραφα, seems to have followed this reading; or, in describing this beast, he would not have used the expression, which appears in the Latin translation, “quasi qui non sit." Iren, lib. v. c. 35.

yet

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

yet doth exist. These two last terms in their literal acceptation are in direct contradiction to each other; and therefore, literally taken, cannot be true. Yet many passages of Scripture have this character, and yet are found to contain true and important doctrine. Thus, a good Christian is said to be dead, though he liveth *. His life is hid with Christ in God t. This expression, literally interpreted, cannot be true: but if one of the terms be taken in its spiritual sense, the meaning becomes plain, and most important . The life of the beast is thus figuratively dead; his life is hid, he is not seen and acknowledged by the world as being alive ; although in fact he lives and rules with the same tyrannical oppression as before. In the description of the beast in the xiiith chapter, there is a similar ænigmatical representation, which, as it seems to allude to the same history, may be usefully compared $.

The fourth beast of Daniel, the Roman tyranny, by the ecclesiastical revolution under Constantine, appeared to be deprived of his savage ferocity; to have no more existence as a wild-beast, as the oppressor of true Religion. He seemed then to have received his deadly wound: “ He was, and is not:" - but “ his deadly wound was healed ||.” Though“ he was,

and is not, yet he is 9.” Unobserved to be the same beast, the same persecuting, oppressive power, he re-ascends from the great abyss, the same in the Spirit, even as Jolin Baptist was said to be Elijah, and

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

* Rom. vi. 10.

+ Col. ii. 3.
Thus also in Saint John's writings, it muwr, års' ex iş ilawy. 1 John
ä. 19.

See them exhibited in comparison, in pote, ch, xiii. 3.
Il Ch. xiii. 3.

Ch. xvii. 8.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »